Finding the Good Stuff/Healthy Food at Disney World
For Felix’s tenth birthday, we surprised him with 4-day trip to Disney World with his cousins (who are his favorite people on this planet—he was actually more excited to see them than he was to be at Disney World, if that’s possible!).
My husband and I are not theme-park people, but we can appreciate the magic of Disney, and decided that we had one trip in us before the kids were too old to appreciate this magic themselves.
Healthy Food at Disney World
We certainly witnessed plenty of Bad Stuff during this trip. (The plastic toys! The scented bubbles mysteriously blowing around! The 4-year-olds in makeup and hairspray! The mind-boggling amount of wasted food!)
But surprisingly, we also ate some legit delicious, healthy food at Disney World, and many of you asked me to share what we discovered.
Some Other Good Stuff at Disney
Before I jump in, here are few general notes on the Good Stuff at Disney World:
- You are allowed to bring outside food into the parks so a Whole Foods delivery to your room before arrival is not a bad idea.
- Because I’m basically a pescatarian, my meal recommendations are slanted towards meat-free dishes. In general, I think it’s a good idea to avoid animal products at Disney, since it’s unlikely that anything is organic/grass-fed/pastured.
- If you’re a vegan, here is a great resource. This is another good spot to find info on vegan food options at Disney.
- While the consumption and waste at Disney can be mind-boggling, there are signs that the park is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact. My brother’s family was staying in the Fort Wilderness cabins, where rather than small, disposable shampoo bottles, the bathrooms are equipped with large refillable toiletries. I asked one of our waitresses about the amount of food that is tossed every day, and she said they “compost all of it.”
- One way that you’ll be healthier for having visited Disney World? The staggering number of steps you’ll take each day, even if you only the the parks for a few hours as we did.
And now, onto the most healthy food at Disney World in the parks and resorts. Thanks so much to all of you who wrote in with your own suggestions to augment my list!
Healthy Food in Magic Kingdom
We didn’t visit the super popular Be Our Guest Restaurant, but many of you mentioned it as a good spot for healthful options, like a cannellini bean cassoulet with onions, red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. Readers also recommended the tuna nicoise salad and a veggie-heavy ratatouille.
The Liberty Tree Tavern has a bunch of healthful kid options, like roasted turkey with veggies and fruit on the side.
The Liberty Square Market offers a range of healthful snacks, like fresh fruits and veggie snack packs, plus cheese and nuts. They also have the ubiquitous turkey legs at this market, and while they aren’t made of organic or high-quality meat, a turkey leg is a good protein-rich snack.
Cosmic Ray’s offers plant-based meatloaf and sloppy Joes, which many of you recommended.
You could also choose a build-your-own rice bowl at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn, which you can top with black beans and roasted vegetables for an affordable meal that packs a nutritional punch.
Note: it was hard for us to find a healthful breakfast in Magic Kingdom; I’d recommend getting a fruit or egg breakfast at your hotel rather than waiting to eat there.
Healthy Food in Animal Kingdom
The best meal I had at Disney World was the buffet at Tusker House. The vegetarian options were plentiful and included chutneys, samosas, curries, salads, plantains, stewed vegetables, tofus, and pilafs.
The Harambe Fruit Market is a great place for delicious, fresh tropical fruits.
Satu’li has some good vegetarian options, like a Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl with a crunchy veggie slaw.
Healthy Food in Epcot
This trip didn’t include a trip to Epcot for us, but many of you mentioned the following places for healthful food:
- Sunshine Seasons food court is a popular choice with many of you. Some food choices you’ll get here is actually grown in The Land ride, and healthy options include fresh fruit smoothies, rotisserie chicken, a children’s meal that includes grilled salmon, a vegan flatbread, and a kale salad with quinoa and Brussel sprouts. For breakfast, you can choose overnight oats or a wrap with wild rice, sweet potatoes, avocado, and tofu. If I ever go back to Disney World, Sunshine Seasons is going to be on the top of my list.
- The Garden Grill also uses food from The Land’s greenhouses—and the meals include unlimited servings of salad and veggies to go along with the main course.
- Tangierine Café is another popular healthful Epcot restaurant. Visitors love the hummus, crudités, tabbouleh salad, saffron rotisserie chicken, and lentil salad.
- Finally, people rave about the sushi and sashimi at Takumi-Tei, saying it’s fresh and delicious.
A Note About Drinking Water at Disney World
If you’re on a Disney meal plan, you get giant plastic mugs that you can fill with water (or soda! Yeesh). Better yet, bring your own plastic-free water bottle and refill it at the following stations:
In the Magic Kingdom
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
In Animal Kingdom
- Na’vi River Journey line
- Flight of Passage line
- The Epcot Experience
In Hollywood Studios
- Both restrooms in Galaxy’s Edge
- Smugglers Run line
Healthy Food at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood & Vine offers a welcome change from the many unhealthy buffets at Disney World. Here you’ll find tons of veggie dishes and carved roasted meats.
Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo serves a Felucian Garden Spread with hummus and tomato-cucumber relish.
Healthy Food at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
We never made it to any water parks while at Disney World, but many of you mentioned Leaning Palms as a good vegetarian option in Typhoon Lagoon. They offer protein rich meals like a black bean plantain burger and a vegan sausage and rice bowl.
Healthy Food at Some of the Disney Resorts
If you happen to be staying at the Wilderness Lodge, as we did, the Whispering Canyon restaurant served us a delicious dinner, where we enjoyed everything from quinoa cakes to vegan sausage. The portion sizes (and wasted food!) were obscene, but the meal was healthful and tasty.
We also ate one breakfast at the Grand Floridian (it’s a gorgeous hotel, by the way, if you are up for a splurge). There were lots of egg and fruit options, but if your kids get the pancakes as mine did, ask them to skip the sprinkles!
Several of you mentioned the Beach Club Resort’s Cape May Café for it’s super fun clam bake. Visitors love the steamed clams and crab as well as grilled fish—plus the generous array of vegetable sides and salad bar fixings.
For a high-end healthful meal, one of you recommended the California Grill at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
If you’ve found any amazing healthy food at Disney World, please comment below.
Maia, Founder & CEO
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Any idea what their filtered water stations actually filter? I’m most concerned about heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury.